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Spurs’ FA Cup exit? Hard cheese!

OPINION: Mauricio Pochettino’s fantastic team has some standout players – they surely deserve a scrapbook moment at the Cup final

31 January, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger lifting the FA Cup

OH, how the other half live. We can only look, noses pressed up against the windows, at Tottenham’s new stadium. There it is in the distance, emerging, complete with its cheese room – where expensive Roquefort will be served to clients, sorry, I mean fans, willing to pay a premium – and its microbrewery pumped and ready to serve hipster ales. Don’t forget the new White Hart Lane’s on-site artisan bakery for all your sourdough needs, either.

To think how Arsenal fans have been mocked for being latte-loving north Londoners, nouveau fans insulated from the real world.

Jealous? Let’s wait and see the price of tickets, and how they might rise in the coming seasons, before answering that.

We learned of how posh and important Spurs have suddenly become over the weekend. For Tottenham Hotspur, despite not having won anything meaningful since 1991, are now a team who are so high-grade, so elite, that they do not have time to waste with the FA Cup.

A weakened team exited the competition at Crystal Palace because, we were told, finishing in the top four is of greater importance – the exact sentiment that their fans used to mock Arsene Wenger for. A trophy is not a priority, Harry Winks said earlier this month.

Outrun in the league, Wenger later reassessed the stone cold, sober reality of chasing a runners-up position ahead of, you know, actually winning something.

This has not been the most distinguished period for Arsenal but Wenger’s three latter-day cup successes were still what being a fan is geared to.

For the benefit of those who have not lived it, let me tell you about seeing your team in the FA Cup final come May.

It’s exciting the whole week before, nervous but exciting. You have a few drinks, you gather with your mates or your family somewhere near a stop on the Jubilee line and head to the showpiece finale of the football season.

Cup-final suits, Abide With Me, the trophy there on the sideline: there’s more nervous excitement, but it’s a special day, special moments, photos for the albums, days to remember.

If you are lucky enough to win, it’s even better. Time stands still. The Gunners won’t be there this year, but they have gorged on this special feeling in recent years. Whatever young master Winks says, you can’t help feeling the Spurs players would enjoy it too. They have a fantastic team, some standout players, but surely they want some medals to show the grandkids. Otherwise, Grandpapa, tell us again about that amazing third-place season.

More importantly, the Spurs fans, who will be paying a tenner for a crusty loaf and a craft ale at their new stadium, surely deserve a scrapbook moment at the FA Cup final. The dosh-counters seem to think otherwise.

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